Hamid Armah: Partisan local level elections would have boosted turnout

The low participation recorded in the just ended district assembly elections is worrying and ought to be remedied by revisiting discussions on the involvement of political parties in the process.

It is not the first time of low turnout at assembly elections, which will certainly not be the last, and a lasting solution to the low turnout will whip up interest and enthusiasm every year or the same thing will happen.

There is the need for discussion on political parties taking part in local level elections since low participation created situation where persons elected may not necessarily be people who understand local assembly concept and will not be able to play the role required of them.

Dr Hamid Armah, the Executive Secretary of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, noted that “We must put emotions and political arguments aside, begin to reflect on issue of political party involvement because I have no doubt, with all certainty if political parties had driven processes, we will not have the level of participation.

“Political parties should have taken charge of  processes and used internal structures and mechanisms to get numbers to participate and make it competitive, political parties should ensure people with votes far away should have been brought to the centres to vote to create awareness and provided logistics for them to ensure processes reflected what the citizenry wanted.

 “The foundation of our democratic processes, devolved powers from the government to assemblies, and they have administrative and executive roles to play, showing no interest in participating in processes of electing assembly members, is a source of worry, since activities of assemblies do not complement efforts of the government and quality of materials needed at district level needs to improve complementary role to make it efficient and effective.

“There must be high level competition with involvement of political parties because they will ensure representatives participate in deliberations at assembly, worried because the government intends to decentralise education to local level, if we do not get the citizenry to get involved in processes of electing competent people, it will have effect on how we want to grow and develop service delivery at local level,” Dr Armah bemoaned. -3news.com

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